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Chemiresistive Electronic Nose toward Detection of Biomarkers in Exhaled Breath

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journal contribution
posted on 26.07.2016, 00:00 by Hi Gyu Moon, Youngmo Jung, Soo Deok Han, Young-Seok Shim, Beomju Shin, Taikjin Lee, Jin-Sang Kim, Seok Lee, Seong Chan Jun, Hyung-Ho Park, Chulki Kim, Chong-Yun Kang
Detection of gas-phase chemicals finds a wide variety of applications, including food and beverages, fragrances, environmental monitoring, chemical and biochemical processing, medical diagnostics, and transportation. One approach for these tasks is to use arrays of highly sensitive and selective sensors as an electronic nose. Here, we present a high performance chemiresistive electronic nose (CEN) based on an array of metal oxide thin films, metal-catalyzed thin films, and nanostructured thin films. The gas sensing properties of the CEN show enhanced sensitive detection of H2S, NH3, and NO in an 80% relative humidity (RH) atmosphere similar to the composition of exhaled breath. The detection limits of the sensor elements we fabricated are in the following ranges: 534 ppt to 2.87 ppb for H2S, 4.45 to 42.29 ppb for NH3, and 206 ppt to 2.06 ppb for NO. The enhanced sensitivity is attributed to the spillover effect by Au nanoparticles and the high porosity of villi-like nanostructures, providing a large surface-to-volume ratio. The remarkable selectivity based on the collection of sensor responses manifests itself in the principal component analysis (PCA). The excellent sensing performance indicates that the CEN can detect the biomarkers of H2S, NH3, and NO in exhaled breath and even distinguish them clearly in the PCA. Our results show high potential of the CEN as an inexpensive and noninvasive diagnostic tool for halitosis, kidney disorder, and asthma.